The current state of our media entertainment…

As I noted six months ago, we decided to save some money by getting rid of our cable TV service.

It was a bit of a difficult decision at the time, considering how much we used the TV for background noise and how often we used our Comcast-provided DVR. However, at this point, we don’t regret getting rid of it.

One of the biggest changes we’ve made since to our setup since we got rid of the cable service was to get a Roku Streaming Stick for the living room home theater. We were very impressed with how well the Roku 1 worked on our bedroom TV; on the other hand, the installed apps on our Samsung home theater receiver were terrible. Getting the Streaming Stick solved that problem, and now the streaming services work just as well in the living room as they do in the bedroom.

Of course, apps like Hulu replaced the Comcast DVR. On the other hand, we tended to use channels like Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel as background noise, especially on weekends. While the broadcast networks had some similar channels, we really missed having those networks. That was solved the other day, when we learned about Sling TV, which provided all the channels we were missing for $20/month. As we rarely (if ever) DVRed those channels, it was a good deal considering how much we had been paying for cable TV service before. We’re on day three of our seven day trial, and we’ve already decided to continue the service.

If there’s been one problem, it’s been the fact that our home theater receiver has a major design flaw that caused both the volume down and eject buttons on the front panel to malfunction badly. After Geek Squad basically declared it unrepairable, I managed to take it apart and figure out a) what the problem was, and b) how to fix the issue. The receiver is working fine now with no issues. I may do a blog post later detailing what I did.

All in all, we’re pretty happy right now with our TV service. When it comes to movies, though, it’s not been as good.

To be honest, there hasn’t been all that much we’ve wanted to go out and see. It doesn’t help, either, that we have to make arrangements for Lucas if we want to go to see a movie in a theater. The last two movies we’ve seen in theaters have been Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, and unfortunately, we didn’t like either one. While I wanted to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I knew Jennifer didn’t want to see it, so I’m waiting for it to become available to rent via Amazon Instant Video. Star Trek Beyond should be out soon, but I’m not sure yet whether we’ll see that at a theater or whether we’ll wait for it to hit home video.

Of course, considering we have a decent TV and sound system, about the only kind of theater it’s worth going out to see a movie at is a dinner-and-a-movie place, and for us that’s Studio Movie Grill, considering they have locations near our house and near Jennifer’s parents’ house. The food is decent, the ticket prices are reasonable (compared to places like AMC and Cinemark), and they have low tolerance for people acting up during movies.

In the end, we’re pretty happy with how things have ended up, six months down the road. With the addition of Sling TV, the one thing that caused us to miss cable TV has been taken care of. We don’t get to see as many movies as we used to, but we’re adapting there as best we can. I think we’re doing well, and we definitely made the right decision as far as cable TV goes.